What Really Makes a Leader?

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What is a Leader? A leader is someone others follow. A leader should be competent at what others expect of him. People have confidence in competence. Competence means doing a given task well. Without this, people are reluctant to follow. How hard a leader works is not as important as being someone who is good at his work.

Another leadership aspect is having the ability to communicate. Being a Scientologist myself, communication plays a big role in leadership. Can a leader get his ideas across to others? If he cannot, his ideas will not be transmitted. Having the ability to understand others is very important. If one cannot understand his subordinates he will be rejected by them. People want and need understanding. So a leader must have this attribute.

Good leaders also have strong purposes, they have positive ideals, and they have a sense of strength. Some may be downright mean, but if their purpose is honest and true people will still follow.

People do not follow who they like regardless of what some people say. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, explains that men follow who they respect, and that respect is a, “…recognition of inspiration, purpose and competence.” He also notes that courage is often an important factor, and that people who merely want to be liked, will not make it. That is coming from a man who started a movement of millions.

If you look down the ages, you will find leaders that movies are made of, who fought the greatest battles, who had armies follow them to the ends of the earth. They had these qualities. The greatest wartime generals and presidents inspired the same way. In peacetime, with business and politics, it will be those who again have these same qualities of leadership who we follow.

And it is not a matter of people just blindly following media and advertising campaigns. Many people can tell truth from spin. Likely you have had your fill of spin at election time, regardless of what country you live in.

So there it is. To be a leader one needs competence, purpose, courage with a dose of hard work. And one also requires the ability to inspire confidence, and enthuse others. There are many good people out there in the world. The effective ones will be our leaders. I hope this helps the would-be leaders out there. Good luck!

Nick Broadhurst is the author of science fiction books, children’s picture books, and comics. He also writes articles on contemporary philosophy. For a living he is an architect, building contractor, building inspector, and worked in many countries.


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